Coffee Shop Owners Under Fire for Podcast

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The owners of Waking Life Espresso, a West Asheville coffee shop, have come under fire after they were revealed to be behind a podcast described by listeners as demeaning to women and misogynistic.

The podcast was designed to be anonymous but after their names were leaked, Jacob Owens issued an apology explaining he and co-owner Jared Rutledge "did an anonymous podcast on picking up women where [Owens] crassly discussed my intimate experiences with women."

There were also blog posts and tweets associated with the two, however, Owens denies authoring those posts.

"But just as worse, I knew they existed," he wrote in his apology. "I did not keep up with them, or fully know what was on them. But by knowing that it was going on, and knowing that I was associated however, I am complicit. I fully accept that shame as well."

The outrage from the community spilled over onto social media with many people calling for others to boycott the shop.

Saturday, they took to the streets to protest.

"I was so incensed in the moment that me and my children got together and made signs, I kind of thought it would just be us. And I'm pleased that other people feel strongly enough to come out and protest something like this in our community," said Mikki Fox who lives in West Asheville.

Andrew Cormier who also lives in West Asheville said, "You kind of come to expect a certain level of respect from the people that live here."

As a counter-movement, a number of businesses decided to remove Waking Life's Iced Coffee from its shelves.

Orbit DVD took things a step further by donating $50 to Our Voice for every bottle sold.

Harvest Records announced on Facebook it would donate 10% of its sales this week to the agency.

Our Voice is a non-profit crisis intervention and prevention agency which serves victims of sexual violence.

Even when they sold out, some people came in to donate money.

"This is just one more way to turn something negative happening in the neighborhood into something positive," said Robin Wood, one of the employees at Orbit DVD.

Another protest is scheduled for Monday morning at 7 am in front of the business.

CLICK HERE to read the statement posted on the door of Waking Life Espresso.

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